Why Reddit is a good place for research
Updated at 25 November 2021
Why choose Reddit as a research platform? There are many other social networks, platforms, and alike. There are Facebook Groups where you may find your target audience. Or, Discord servers. Or, the usual Internet forums where people still discuss ideas and problems. They all are good, but I find Reddit attractive too. For market research? Yes. But isn't it a meme-sharing website? Not only. Let's take a look at the statistics.
52 million people use Reddit every day as for the 2020 year information. So, these days it should be even more. Over 1.6 billion visits every month. Mostly from the US(47%), Canada(7.4%), UK(7.4%), Australia(4.2%). A person spends 9 min and 30 seconds per visit, on average. Reddit has 100% organic search traffic, which is 47% of all traffic. The amount of active communities is over 138,000.
What's appealing is that those subreddits are usually well-moderated, people like to hang out there. They talk as like at home, share thoughts, discuss ideas. They don't like spammers, but they appreciate the value members of a community provide. Hence, it's worth saying that you should prioritize giving the value first before diving into self-promotion. If your task is research, then it's a huge ocean of information. The issue is filtering it.
Every subreddit has its own rules, besides the general website rules. In middle-sized and big subreddits moderators monitor the submissions thoroughly. The members want to keep the community clean and prospering. This means, less noise and more valuable data to use in research. This reason is the most appealing one for people who want to use Reddit as a market research platform. It takes much time to filter spam, ads from other platforms.
Now the work begins: how to filter out the data? Or, how to even find the right information there?
As a Redditor, you may hang out in the subreddits you're interested in. For example, if you want to understand what freelancers are talking about and what common problems have, find such subreddits. See their "top" posts for all time and see their common trends(where to find customers, how to raise prices, what projects to avoid, etc.). You may ask specific questions in those subreddits in the comments or by creating posts. There's a high possibility it was asked/talked about before.
You may also use the Reddit search to find what you want. Here's the caveat: it doesn't work well. No specifying time ranges, particular subreddits, exact matches, searching in a title, or a description, indicating whether to search in comments or posts - no. To our luck, we've got Olwi and Google. Now the work becomes simpler - you don't need to figure out how to search. However, you should understand what do you want to find to specify the right words or phrases and subreddits.
Reddit is a great place for research. A ton of active communities. Less noise, more valuable data. Plenty of people talk about pains, thoughts and share opinions.